Bad luck if video games were your escape from Brexit – it will feature in the new Football Manager.
Football Manager is the most realistic football game ever. #Brexit
— Dean ð (@PRiNCEAK_) October 18, 2016
Football Manager 2017 will be released on November 4 and will include some of the footballing ramifications which could occur when the UK leaves the European Union.
“As far as I know this is the first time a computer game has tried to predict the future of a country,” the game’s creator Miles Jacobson told the Daily Telegraph.
Players will be alerted at some point anywhere between two and 10 years into the game that trade negotiations on the UK’s exit from the EU have begun. A year later, they will be given the full details of what the virtual Theresa Mays and Jean-Claude Junckers have decided.
The creators, from Sports Interactive, said there was no way of predicting only one outcome to negotiations so, with a lot of research, decided to try and cover all the bases. Artificial intelligence and percentage chances are employed by the game to make each player’s experience unique but there are three main scenarios to Brexit.
Some game players will end up with the “hard Brexit” scenario, which will stop free movement of EU footballers and make it harder to buy overseas players into UK leagues. EU stars will then be treated in the same way as non-EU footballers, who receive work permits based on a points system biased towards players in the top 25% of earners at their respective club, international players of major countries or players with high transfer fees.
“If we already had these rules in place, players such as NâGolo Kante and Dimitri Payet would not have been able to gain work permits to move to the Premier League,” says Jacobson. “Thatâs two of last seasonâs three best players.”
This scenario can result in much higher transfer fees and even a cap on players from outside the UK at British clubs, similar to the cap on non-EU players employed in Italy. Creators say this cap on the number of non-UK players could range from as high as 17 to as low as four a club.
Another scenario in the game is footballers being given “entertainer” status and hence being given preference on work permits over others. This system is already in place for actors and musicians on tour.
Finally, a soft Bexit will mean the free movement of workers remains, allowing managers to continue to buy EU players as they have previously – something most players will probably be hoping for.
Creator Jacobson said a hard Brexit in real terms could be good for the national team and from a British perspective, but not for football in the country as a whole.
“I love the Premier League as it is. I love seeing the best players in the world on a weekly basis,” said Jacobson. “If people think the outcome is bleak, this is what I believe could happen.”
Looking forward to the inevitable Why I Changed My Mind About Brexit After Playing Football Manager 17 thinkpiece.
— Chris Schilling (@schillingc) October 18, 2016
An excellent idea.